On this page we will answer your questions. Below you can see our responses to questions which have already been asked, and you can ask your own question by filling in the form on the right.

When will the Kindle version become available?

At present we don't have any plans to release a Kindle version of the book. Many of the large diagrams in the book don't work well on a small screen; we want to make sure that every version of the book is as good as the original, so it may be some time before we produce a version specifically for Kindle. However, you can read the book in PDF format, which should work on Kindle devices.

I love the font you've used on the cover. What is it?

It's great, isn't it? It's a font called Futura Condensed Bold.

Won't we eventually run out of iron, and be unable to make more steel?

Good question. In fact, we have quite a lot of iron ore, so it is unlikely that supply constraint will provide a significant driver towards more sustainable use of materials (Allwood et al., 2011). However, scarcity of other elements may lead to difficulties in producing certain alloys. Furthermore, as we are forced to extract iron from lower quality, less pure sources of ore, the energy, and hence cost, of extraction are likely to increase.

The move towards new steel grades like AHSS for improving efficiency of automobiles actually involves lot of heat treatment processes with addition of costly alloying elements etc. How can we justify the energy inputs required to produce such grades to the output obtained from the material in terms of passenger safety, fuel efficiency and environmental safety

The key trade off is whether the carbon emissions savings from a lighter-weight car provide a net benefit when the additional carbon emissions in processing are taken into account.

Moving to higher strength steels could give a vehicle mass saving of at least 10-15%, corresponding to a fuel saving of approximately 5% (according to WorldAutoSteel 2007). Therefore, we may save 0.3GtCO2 annually from the vehicle use phase.

It is difficult to account for the carbon emissions of increased levels of heat treatment and addition of more alloying elements. Conservatively we could say 0.2tCO2/tsteel for a single extra thermal cycle, and using Bath's Inventory of Carbon and Energy (Hammond and Jones, 2011) to account for carbon emissions associated with alloying additions of 1.5wt% Mn, 0.3wt%Mo and 0.6wt%Cr (for DP or TRIP grades), the total extra carbon dioxide released producing 120Mt of advanced high strength steel would be less than 0.05GtCO2. Looking further into the future, TWIP grades which have a significantly higher Manganese content (up to 20%), may need a more precise analysis of the supply chain to justify net carbon savings.

Therefore, there is a net benefit to use advanced higher strength steels. Other materials may provide an even greater overall saving. Working papers 6 and 9 from the WellMet2050 theme 2 report 'Going on a metal diet' provide further details.

How was this research and book funded?

The research behind the book was funded by a 1.4m Leadership Fellowship provided by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), reference EP/G007217/1.

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